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Amityville Students Become Immersed in Black History Month

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To celebrate Black History Month, students in the Amityville Union Free School District participated in virtual celebrations and learned about African-American men and women who made important contributions to the country.

At Edmund W. Miles Middle School, students portrayed a variety of important figures from the past and present in a video that was shared with the school during the advisory block on Feb. 25. Tiffany Asbell was Vice President Kamala Harris, Kiya Sizemore was civil rights activist Ruby Bridges and Janaiya Randolph was poet Amanda Gorman. Students did their own research on these notable individuals before portraying them in the virtual celebration.

Middle school students also did independent research projects on notable Black Americans. Social studies teachers incorporated Black History Month into their lessons through discussions of historical events and individuals. Students studied many concepts from the Black perspective and analyzed how decisions of the past have had implications in present-day society.  
Ninth grade students at Amityville Memorial High School developed a “Periodic Table of African-American Achievement in History” using Google Slides and Jamboard. Students researched notable accomplishments by African-Americans and created interactive databases. They also made accompanying videos using Flipgrid, explaining the impact of the changes led by these individuals. The digital presentation were then shared with sixth graders at the middle school.

“The project was designed as a part of our Black History Month celebration to further expose our students to the numerous achievements of African-Americans in history,” social studies teacher Jack Zider said. “In addition, it allows our younger students a chance to learn from their older peers while building their 21st century technology, research, organization and communication skills.”

Park Avenue Memorial Elementary School created a virtual presentation with the theme “I Can.” Students from third, fourth and fifth grade held up signs declaring their dreams for the future. 

Third grader Ayden Harding-Fuentes said he wants to be a police officer, specifically a member of the SWAT team, and third grader Lilly Betegon hopes to become a fashion designer. Lilly said that having dreams is important “to inspire yourself.”

Additionally, the video features Park Avenue staff, including teachers, teaching assistants, aides and monitors, who discussed the origins of Black History Month. It also showcases African-American inventors and others who have contributed greatly to society. The virtual celebration was coordinated by Megan Ashe, Nicole Baxter, DiAndre Coghiel, Christopher Grant, Christine Locher and Kendra Stevenson.

Ms. Stevenson created the “Because of Them, We Can” bulletin board which celebrates many successful African-American athletes, civil rights leaders, entertainers, world leaders and more. In the center of the display is a painting of three dancers to celebrate the rich history of African-Americans in the arts and serve as inspiration for Park Avenue students that there are many avenues for success. 
Monday, May 17, 2021